NFC Draft Grades (2012)

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Of course, there is truly no telling how each and every draft class will pan out down the road, but the fun of the draft process is evaluating the finalized classes of each organization and grade them based on quality of picks, value of selections, ability to work up (or down) the draft, and fill needs. The NFL Draft is a three-day battle: in order to win the war — and have a strong draft — you must win the individual battles each day. There are a few teams who were able to do that, there are a few who were unable to do it, and there are many who fall in-between. Take it with a grain of salt, and have fun with it. Lets get to it…

 

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Dallas Cowboys

Round 1 (6) – CB Morris Claiborne, LSU

Round 3 (81) – DE Tyrone Crawford, Boise State

Round 4 (113) – OLB Kyle Wilber, Wake Forest

Round 4 (135) – S Matt Johnson, Eastern Washington

Round 5 (152) – WR Danny Coale, Virginia Tech

Round 6 (186) – TE James Hanna, Oklahoma

Round 7 (222) – LB Caleb McSurdy, Montana

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The Cowboys made waves on day one of the draft by flipping a 2nd round pick to St. Louis in order to select the man they wanted all along in LSU CB Morris Claiborne. Claiborne was the highest rated defensive back in the draft and fills a sizable need for Dallas. A 2nd round pick is a small price to pay for such a talent with true #1 CB potential. The team also had a pretty significant need along the D-line; 5-technique in particular, and Dallas made good on filling the position in the 3rd round with Boise State’s Tyrone Crawford — the first Canadian taken in the draft, and a player who could have gone a round earlier. Dallas knocked off yet another need in the 4th round by selecting Wake Forest rush linebacker Kyle Wilber, who will be groomed as the possible replacement for franchise tagged OLB Anthony Spencer and bolster the teams pass rushing depth off the edge. Rounds 4 and 5 brought two talented players in S Matt Johnson and WR Danny Coale, but I did not have either player rated as good value when they were selected. In contrast to that, the Cowboys landed athletic, high potential Oklahoma TE James Hanna in round 6. Hanna is raw, but can be a matchup nightmare in the future if he can continue to develop — very nice bargain where he was taken. Round 7 brought the team an intelligent inside linebacker projection in Montana’s Caleb McSurdy who will fight for a roster spot on special teams. Value could have been a little better in the mid-rounds, but I didn’t see a “bad” pick from Dallas, and it started well at the top.

Grade: B+

 

New York Giants

Round 1 (32) – RB David Wilson, Virginia Tech

Round 2 (63) – WR Rueben Randle, LSU

Round 3 (94) – CB Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech

Round 4 (127) – TE Adrien Robinson, Cincinnati

Round 4 (131) – OT Brandon Mosley, Auburn

Round 6 (201) – OT Matt McCants, Alabama-Birmingham

Round 7 (239) – DT Markus Kuhn, North Carolina State

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The luxury of being the champion is you typically have the flexibility to do what ever it is you want on draft day, and Jerry Reese — doing as he does — took talent, and didn’t waver much on character concerns. With Brandon Jacobs ineffective and out the door, the Giants opted in round 1 to select RB David Wilson — a smooth in-and-out cutter with hands and downfield quickness who will contribute immediately. In round 2, the G-Men were lucky enough to have talented 1st round-hopeful WR Rueben Randle fall to them. Similarly to Mario Manningham (now in SF), Randle fell on draft day and the Giants capitalized on the value. Due to a failed drug test, the highly gifted, albeit undersized, Jayron Hosley landed with the team late on day two. A move that will undoubtedly pay dividends if he keeps his nose clean. Round 4 brought the Giants TE Adrien Robinson — a slight reach, but an all-around athlete with potential to be an on the line “Y” TE with some development, and OT Brandon Mosley — who could push for the right tackle job early and went nearly a round earlier than some believed. 6th round OT Matt McCants is an unpolished player who needs a lot of development, but was good value and has quick feet and a frame to grow into. 7th round DT Markus Kuhn is only the second German to ever be drafted (Sebastian Vollmer the other); a thickly built interior defender with movement. For the most part, a “value” based draft for Big Blue, with 3-5 players who could help from day one.

Grade: B+

 

Philadelphia Eagles

Round 1 (12) – DT Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State

Round 2 (46) – LB Mychal Kendricks, California

Round 2 (59) – DE Vinny Curry, Marshall

Round 3 (88) – QB Nick Foles, Arizona

Round 4 (123) – CB Brandon Boykin, Georgia

Round 5 (153) – OT Dennis Kelly, Purdue

Round 6 (194) – WR Marvin McNutt, Iowa

Round 6 (200) – OG Brandon Washington, Miami (FL)

Round 7 (229) – RB Bryce Brown, Kansas State

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Top to bottom, the Eagles had another superb draft. Landing DT Fletcher Cox at No. 12 is fantastic value considering most thought it near impossible he’d fall out of the top 10 heading into draft day. COming back and grabbing a nice value and defensive fit in LB Mychal Kendricks (who has multiple LB-spot versatility) and one of my higher rated defenders, DE Vinny Curry, who should bolster the pass rushing rotation immediately. Philly went with big Arizona passer Nick Foles to develop over the next few seasons. Round 4 brought the Eagles, in my view, one of the draft’s best picks in CB Brandon Boykin — a player some thought could be an early 2nd round selection — who will compete in slot/nickel-CB capacity early on if healthy. In round 5, 6’8″, long-armed OT Dennis Kelly is an interesting project, but the team added a pair of true talents in the 6th round: WR Marvin McNutt, a longer downfield target who runs routes well underneath and OG Brandon Washington, a highly talented interior OL who would’ve been taken much earlier had he not declared early — both of which could have gone round 3-4 and been good value. The team also took a gamble on RB Bryce Brown in round 7, the former #1 high school recruit (via Rivals) in 2009.

Grade: A+

 

Washington Redskins

Round 1 (2) – QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor

Round 3 (71) – OG Josh LeRibeus, Southern Methodist

Round 4 (102) – QB Kirk Cousins, Michigan State

Round 4 (119) – LB Keenan Robinson, Texas

Round 5 (141) – OG Adam Gettis, Iowa

Round 6 (173) – RB Alfred Morris, Florida Atlantic

Round 6 (193) – OT Tom Compton, North Dakota

Round 7 (213) – CB Richard Crawford, Southern Methodist

Round 7 (217) – CB Jordan Bernstine, Iowa

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A lot has been made of the bold move the Redskins made to acquire QB Robert Griffin, but all things being considered, it was the right move for the franchise and provided he becomes what he should be, a pair of future 1st round picks simply is not too much. However, the team must counter the loss of future top picks by surrounding their new QB with talent. 3rd and 5th round OGs Josh LeRiberius and Adam Gettis are nice projections and good fits for the team’s zone-blocking scheme, but neither (along with 6th round OT Tom Compton) are likely to step in and help early on — but each has upside. My favorite non-RG3 pick Washington made was grabbing Texas ILB Keenan Robinson in the 4th round. Robinson is a strong, athletic down hill player who delivers pop behind his hits. 6th round RB/FB Alfred Morris is a bit of a tweener who’s slower than a RB and not as big or capable of a blocker to be a true lead blocking FB. Finally, while Kirk Cousins was strong value, when you deal multiple high draft picks for a QB, you need to use what picks you do have far more wisely. Overall, this class has some potential, but little immediate impact aside from RG3. We’ll have to re-evaluate this class maybe more-so than others, but for now the class hinges on the player it was built around.

Grade: C+/B-

 

Chicago Bears

Round 1 (19) – DE Shea McClellin, Boise State

Round 2 (45) – WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina

Round 3 (79) – S Brandon Hardin, Oregon State

Round 4 (111) – FB/TE Evan Rodriguez, Temple

Round 6 (184) – CB Isaiah Frey, Nevada

Round 7 (220) – CB Greg McCoy, TCU

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Mixed review on the Bears class. From the top, Shea McClellin is a hard working, clean-as-a-whistle pass rusher with tenacity and intelligence. I’m a little unsure of how he will work as an NFL LDE against bigger, more powerful right tackles, but he should be the high-motor annoyance for opponents needed off the edge opposite Peppers. Trading up in the 2nd round for long-limbed butterfly net Alshon Jeffery was a nice move, as he will add more size out-wide and compliment Brandon Marshall nicely. 3rd round S Brandon Hardin is a high potential athlete with movement and all of the necessary physical skills, but he’s raw and will have to make his mark on special teams first. FB/TE Evan Rodriguez will need to be utilized properly, but he can be a quality “move” TE who can line up everywhere — he has hands as well. CB Isaiah Frey has size and length to be on the boundary, while Greg McCoy is more of a nickel type. I see 2-3 immediate helpers

Grade: B

 

Detroit Lions

Round 1 (23) – OT Riley Reiff, Iowa

Round 2 (54) – WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma

Round 3 (85) – CB Dwight Bentley, Louisiana-Lafayette

Round 4 (125) – DE/OLB Ronnell Lewis, Oklahoma

Round 5 (138) – LB Tahir Whitehead, Temple

Round 5 (148) – CB Chris Greenwood, Albion

Round 6 (196) – CB Jonte Green, New Mexico State

Round 7 (223) – LB Travis Lewis, Oklahoma

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Detroit put together a pretty above-average draft from top to bottom, and considering they were unable to address the CB position as they would have probably preferred within rounds 1-2, they tried upgrading the position. Taking right tackle-only Riley Reiff at No. 23 was good value and he will not be asked to do more than he is capable of. Good fit, he helps early. Selecting WR Ryan Broyles in round 2 was a reach and a projection, but provided he is healthy and over his torn ACL, he will compliment Calvin Johnson and 2011 2nd rounder Titus Young rather well underneath with his reliable hands and quick-cut route running ability. The Lions finally addressed CB in round 3 with Dwight Bentley — not the prototypical player I believe they were hoping to land at the position, but a talent, albeit a little unpolished. The team received a pair of steals with Oklahoma defenders Ronnell Lewis in the 4th round and Travis Lewis in the 7th — Ronnell was a day two grade and solid pass rushing rotation upgrade, while Travis is a WLB/MLB type with short-area quickness and smooth lateral movement who was a projected 1st-2nd rounder by some a couple years ago. LB Tahir Whitehead and CB Jonte Green are unpolished development players with upside, while Albion cornerback Chris Greenwood, who the Lions traded up for, could be the gem of this class if he fulfills his potential and translates his size and talent to the next level — more of a boundary CB in the mold of what the team needed. Good class with the potential to be very good.

Grade: B/B+

 

Green Bay Packers

Round 1 (28) – OLB Nick Perry, USC

Round 2 (51) – DE Jerel Worthy, Michigan State

Round 2 (62) – CB Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt

Round 4 (132) – DT Mike Daniels, Iowa

Round 4 (133) – S Jeron McMillian, Maine

Round 5 (163) – LB Terrell Manning, North Carolina State

Round 7 (241) – OT Andrew Datko, Florida State

Round 7 (243) – QB B.J. Coleman, Tennessee-Chattanooga

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Hard to poke a hole in the Pack’s draft. The team chose two fringe 1st round graded defenders in the first two rounds in Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy — both of which play at positions of primary need for Green Bay. The team then went ahead and plucked another quality player at another defensive position of need in quietly coveted Vandy CB Casey Hayward late in round 2. DE Mike Daniels and S Jeron McMillian offer more depth. 5th round ILB Terrell Manning is a productive playmaking ILB type who can be developed — nice value where selected. Finally, Green Bay added two players in the 7th round who have a great opportunity to make the final roster (or practice squad): OT Andrew Datko was, at the very least, an early day three caliber player, if not better, but due to injury he slipped to the last few picks of the draft. Tenn-Chatt QB B.J. Coleman, a Tennessee transfer has a lot of John Skelton to his game, and could have easily been taken two rounds earlier as a developmental passer and nobody would have blinked. Very solid draft for Green Bay.

Grade: B+

 

Minnesota Vikings

Round 1 (4) – OT Matt Kalil, USC

Round 1 (29) – S Harrison Smith, Notre Dame

Round 3 (66) – CB Josh Robinson, Central Florida

Round 4 (118) – WR Jarius Wright, Arkansas

Round 4 (128) – TE Rhett Ellison, USC

Round 4 (134) – WR Greg Childs, Arkansas

Round 5 (139) – S Robert Blanton, Notre Dame

Round 6 (175) – K Blair Walsh, Georgia

Round 7 (210) – LB Audie Cole, North Carolina State

Round 7 (219) – DE Trevor Guyton, California

____________________

Next to no faults in the Minnesota Vikings’ draft class. Between trading down a mere one spot with Cleveland and acquiring extra 4th, 5th, and 7th round picks, the team added multiple players, used their picks wisely, and addressed multiple areas of need. The team got their man all along in franchise left tackle Matt Kalil, a capable pass protector on the blindside for 2011 1st round pick, QB Christian Ponder. Minnesota traded back into round 1 for S Harrison Smith, who although not a 1st round grade, was the best available at a position of exponential need for the Vikes. 3rd round CB Josh Robinson adds much needed speed and playmaking ability and could have been selected a full round earlier in good value. 4th round Arkansas WRs Jarius Wright and Greg Childs are two different player — Wright a speedy slot-type who can move and get vertical, Childs a size+speed outside target with physicality. TE Rhett Ellison has good size and can line up on the line as a “Y” TE and be moved around a bit. S Robert Blanton has versatility and intelligence — won’t play much early on, but a good Cover 2 fit with the ability to play some man. 6th round K Blair Walsh replaces reliable veteran Ryan Longwell; a risky proposition, but he’s significantly cheaper and a better leg on kickoffs. In round 7, the Vikes landed 6’5″ 240 lbs. ILB/SLB Audie Cole who has upside well beyond the round he was chosen, and DE Trevor Guyton has some versatility at DE on run-downs and DT on pass downs, but will have to earn a roster/practice squad spot. Not A+ material, but the trade down with Cleveland, along with acquiring a 2013 4th from Detroit gives the Vikings a very slight edge over teams who pulled a B+ grade.

Grade: A-

 

Atlanta Falcons

Round 2 (55) – C Peter Konz, Wisconsin

Round 3 (91) – OT Lamar Holmes, Southern Mississippi

Round 5 (157) – FB Bradie Ewing, Wisconsin

Round 5 (164) – DE Jonathan Massaquoi, Troy

Round 6 (192) – S Charles Mitchell, Mississippi State

Round 7 (249) – DT Travian Robertson, South Carolina

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As a result of the Julio Jones draft day trade last year, the Falcons were left without multiple picks in this year’s draft. However, that did not stop them from adding a good crop of players. Wisconsin center Peter Konz slipped all the way to No. 55 in round 2, which gives Atlanta a 1st round caliber player despite the fact they did not have a pick in the opening round; great value. Konz represents the long term replacement for veteran Todd McClure at center, and in the meantime, can be plugged into a starting guard role. 3rd round OT Lamar Holmes is raw, but has left tackle potential down the road and his intriguing blend of size, balance, and arm length makes for another good pick along the O-line. At the very least, he has the look of a solid NFL swing tackle. 5th rounder Bradie Ewing is a do-it-all FB who has a bit of John Kuhn to his game; good hands, can block out of the back field & in the run game, and looks comfortable carrying the ball as well. Fellow 5th round pick, DE Jonathan Massaquoi has the potential to be an early impact and one of the best players from the Falcons’ class — a natural pass rusher with leverage and a notable first step off the snap. S Charles Mitchell is a good downhill, in-the-box defender who will help on special teams, but needs lots of development in pass defense. 7th round DT Travian Robertson is a well put together 4-3 NT-type with good run stopping ability, but undeveloped pass rushing technique. Atlanta did as much as they could and stuck to their draft board well.

Grade: B

 

Carolina Panthers

Round 1 (9) – LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College

Round 2 (40) – OG Amini Silatolu, Midwestern State

Round 4 (103) – DE Frank Alexander, Oklahoma

Round 4 (104) – WR Joe Adams, Arkansas

Round 5 (143) – CB Josh Norman, Coastal Carolina

Round 6 (207) – P Brad Nortman, Wisconsin

Round 7 (216) – S D.J. Campbell, California

____________________

Picks between rounds 1-5 are all capable of having an immediate impact on the 2012 Panthers. LB Luke Kuechly will be plugged into the WILL linebacker spot beside middle man Jon Beason and should make an almost seamless transition and compete for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. 2nd round OG Amini Silatolu is far less polished at his position than Kuechly, but the mean interior blocker has the necessary size and physicality needed to start in the NFL from day one. WR Joe Adams is an electrifying deep threat who possesses definite playmaking ability — he and Steve Smith will be difficult to single-cover. DE Frank Alexander is not fully developed as a pass rusher and will only get better in-time, but still provides quality run defense and an ideal motor for the pros. Small-school CB Josh Norman adds length and matchup ability, and despite the fact that he’s a risk-taker on the field with some character issues off the field, he should have gone a round or two earlier than he did. 6th round P Brad Nortman is accurate and for what it’s worth, has plenty of personality — he should handle Carolina’s punting duties for multiple years. D.J. Campbell is an inexperienced special teams-type with raw coverage ability, but has good physical skills. The draft as a whole could have been better as some talent was left on the board during a few of the Panthers’ picks, but I grade this class slightly better than some might.

Grade: B

 

New Orleans Saints

Round 3 (89) – DT Akiem Hicks, Regina

Round 4 (122) – WR Nick Toon, Wisconsin

Round 5 (162) – S Corey White, Samford

Round 6 (179) – OG Andrew Tiller, Syracuse

Round 7 (234) – OT Marcel Jones, Nebraska

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A lot of the Saints’ draft is potential-based, and that’s unsurprising as the team did not have picks in the first two rounds. More of a C+ type class, but I grade 4th round pick WR Nick Toon better than most; a physically talented pass catcher somewhat in the Marques Colston possession-WR mold. 6th round OG Andrew Tiller is a quick-footed athlete with balance and lateral movement. He’s undeveloped overall, but lots of potential. Similar can be said for 7th round OT Marcel Jones, who could prove to be a capable swing blocker in time if he gets less upright off the snap and properly practices leverage techniques. 5th round DB Corey White is an experienced defender with loads of confidence, which is a good attitude to have when playing special teams as a rookie. Of course, the draft class began with American-born Canadian college football DT Akiem Hicks of Regina; a former highly-touted JUCO recruit who committed to LSU before being ruled ineligible. Hicks has size and a “plus” first-step, but will be an interesting project for the defensive coaching staff.

Grade: B-

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Round 1 (7) – S Mark Barron, Alabama

Round 1 (31) – RB Doug Martin, Boise State

Round 2 (58) – LB Lavonte David, Nebraska

Round 5 (140) – LB Najee Goode, West Virginia

Round 6 (174) – CB Keith Tandy, West Virginia

Round 7 (212) – RB Michael Smith, Utah State

____________________

The best way to summarize the Bucs’ 2012 draft class is that within the first three rounds, the team added two defenders who could push for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and one player who is in the right situation to take a stab at the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. After trading back a few spots, the Buccaneers landed the draft’s top safety in Alabama’s Mark Barron; a tireless film-room guy with experience and intelligence. He’s also physically gifted and has “plus” physicality from either safety spot. Then Tampa moved back into the bottom of round 1 in order to select it’s new work horse ‘back in Doug Martin, who is thickly built and possesses nice cutting ability and quickness outside of the tackles — some Frank Gore-like qualities to his game.  2nd round LB Lavonte David is a perfect schematic fit and his ability to fly around the field and make tackles should translate to a productive rookie season. Fellow classmate, LB Najee Goode is another proper stylistic fit who has some thickness and downhill ability + closing speed. 6th round CB Keith Tandy is a physical zone-coverage fit who, despite lacking top tier ball skills, has good change of direction and tackles. Finally, the team added sleeper Michael Smith in the 7th round; the “other” Utah State runner behind bruiser Robert Turbin, Smith keeps his feet moving at all times and his one-cut running style is a nice change of pace from more physical runners Doug Martin and LeGarrette Blount.

Grade: B+

 

Arizona Cardinals

Round 1 (13) – WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame

Round 3 (80) – CB Jamell Fleming, Oklahoma

Round 4 (112) – OT Bobby Massie, Ole Miss

Round 5 (151) – OG Senio Kelemete, Washington

Round 6 (177) – DB Justin Bethel, Presbyterian

Round 6 (185) – QB Ryan Lindley, San Diego State

Round 7 (221) – OT Nate Potter, Boise State

____________________

Arizona managed to put together a top to bottom solid class and bolster the depth along a weaker offensive line. From the top, most would argue that the team failed to address more important positions when they opted for WR Michael Floyd at No. 13; not so fast, my friend. In order to improve Kevin Kolb’s effectiveness, surrounding him with more weapons is imperative. If for nothing else, the team desperately needed to add a legitimate #2 WR out-wide opposite Larry Fitzgerald. CB Jamell Fleming is a talented defender with polish who can contribute immediately and 4th round OT Bobby Massie was a 2nd round grade who’s talent level and potential could make him the gem of this class; and at a position of legitimate need for the Cards, no less. 5th and 7th rounders OG Senio Kelemete and OT Nate Potter bolster depth and size along the OL. A pair of quality projects selected in the 6th round, as DB Justin Bethel has potential to be an above-average starter at CB or S in the NFL in time, and QB Ryan Lindley was quietly one of my highest rated passers — live arm, can make all the throws, and drives the ball well. Arizona could have addressed the O-line earlier, but with no 2nd round pick, the team was handcuffed a little.

Grade: B

 

San Franciso 49ers

Round 1 (30) – WR A.J. Jenkins, Illinois

Round 2 (61) – RB LaMichael James, Oregon

Round 4 (117) – OG Joe Looney, Wake Forest

Round 5 (165) – OLB Darius Fleming, Notre Dame

Round 6 (180) – S Trenton Robinson, Michigan State

Round 6 (199) – OG/C Jason Slowey, Western Oregon

Round 7 (237) – OLB Cam Johnson, Virginia

____________________

More offensive explosion and depth defensively sums up the 49ers 2012 draft class. In round 1, the team opted for Illinois playmaker A.J. Jenkins, a productive receiver who adds a new dynamic to an already deep WR core; taken over higher rated WRs, but he would not have lasted much longer. Round 2 was a little surprising, as San Francisco went with another playmaker. This time it was Oregon RB LaMichael James, a speedster who can make defenders miss with ease in the open field and offers the ability to pick up chunks in the passing game through screens and swing plays. OG Joe Looney is a well coached, physical interior blocker who adds depth and could potentially push for playing time. The selection of Notre Dame OLB Darius Fleming was very intriguing, as he is a dynamic athlete with raw, but high-potential pass rushing abilities. 6th round S Trenton Robinson is a good in-the-box type defender with quickness and and a willingness to step up and tackle, but needs to develop his only average cover skills. Fellow round OG/C Jason Slowey is an interesting interior blocker who is very unpolished but possesses ideal physicality and still in the process of filling his frame, as he’s added good weight well over the past couple seasons. The 9ers capped their class with one of the best values of the entire draft in DE Cam Johnson, who will be a project 3-4 OLB. San Francisco didn’t necessarily address needs early, but added a good crop of talented players; some who will help as rookies, others who will need to be coached up.

Grade: B

 

Seattle Seahawks

Round 1 (15) – DE/OLB Bruce Irvin, West Virginia

Round 2 (47) – LB Bobby Wagner, Utah State

Round 3 (75) – QB Russell Wilson, Wisconsin

Round 4 (106) – RB Robert Turbin, Utah State

Round 4 (114) – DT Jaye Howard, Florida

Round 5 (154) – LB Korey Toomer, Idaho

Round 6 (174) – CB Jeremy Lane, Northwestern State

Round 6 (181) – S Winston Guy, Kentucky

Round 7 (225) – OG J.R. Sweezy, North Carolina State

Round 7 (232) – DE Greg Scruggs, Louisville

____________________

Some really took offense to the Seahawks selection of Bruce Irvin in mid-round 1, but considering he is a definite candidate to rack up double-digit sack totals as a situational edge-rusher in his rookie campaign, it’s rather irrelevant when or where he was taken, in my view. 2nd round LB Bobby Wagner is a productive and dynamic playmaking LB who needs some development time, but should make a good transition. 3rd round QB Russell Wilson is limited due to his height, but truly has all the physical tools and intelligence you want out of a young signal caller; could be a steal, could be a wasted pick unless he can get over his 5’10” frame. RB Robert Turbin is a big, intimidating bruiser who should pair well with Marshawn Lynch in breaking down defenses, and fellow 4th round pick, DT Jaye Howard is an active, high motor interior defensive lineman with upside. In round 6, the team added a pair of DBs: Jeremy Lane a lengthy matchup CB who could’ve gone a round earlier and S Winston Guy, a physical in-the-box safety who loves to hit and delivers good pop behind hits. In the 7th, the Seahawks added two DEs; one of which (Sweezy) will try to make the transition to OG, while Scruggs is a bulkier edge defender who’s savvier against the run than the pass. A solid class that has strength in its numbers, but not a whole lot of immediate plug and play starters, which lead to a tentative grade of…

Grade: B

 

St. Louis Rams

Round 1 (14) – DT Michael Brockers, LSU

Round 2 (33) – WR Brian Quick, Appalachian State

Round 2 (39) – CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama

Round 2 (50) – RB Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati

Round 3 (65) – DB Trumaine Johnson, Montana

Round 4 (96) – WR Chris Givens, Wake Forest

Round 5 (150) – OG Rokevious Watkins, South Carolina

Round 6 (171) – K Greg Zuerlein, Missouri Western

Round 7 (209) – LB Aaron Brown, Hawai’i

Round 7 (252) – RB Daryl Richardson, Abilene Christian

____________________

Another class who has strength in numbers is St. Louis’. Moving down from No. 6 to No. 14 netted the team a supremely talented and potentially dominant DT Michael Brockers, along with a 2nd round pick, which was flipped to Chicago and eventually turned into electrifying and versatile RB Isaiah Pead, the eventual replacement for Steve Jackson who will receive a good portion of touches as a rookie. But before Pead, the Rams added more help for Sam Bradford out wide, as they began day two with the lengthy and athletic WR Brian Quick; before later taking a 1st round talent in CB Janoris Jenkins at No. 39 overall. The team wasn’t done addressing the secondary need, as St. Louis landed versatile, long-limbed matchup CB/S Trumaine Johnson in the early 3rd round — a 2nd round grade to me. At the top of round 4 the Rams brass added yet another strong value weapon on offense by selecting WR Chris Givens; a talented route runner with good hands underneath and downfield quickness. Givens was a day two value. OG Rokevious Watkins is a solid development prospect in the 5th round, while the team hopes to have found its long term answer at kicker in accurate and heralded small-schooler Greg Zuerlein — quietly one of the draft’s top players at the position. 7th rounders, LB Aaron Brown, an experienced and productive defender with some off-field concerns, and RB Daryl Richardson, a quick-cut runner and younger brother of Bengals RB Bernard Scott. Few holes in the Rams’ draft class, as this crop fills multiple needs and strengthens a few key positions — more so if St. Louis can get production from WRs Brian Quick and Chris Givens early.

Grade: A-

 

 

Follow me on Twitter: @NFLDraftUpdate

-DC

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